by Lauraine Snelling, Lenora Worth

November 2005
ISBN: 0-373-78547-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Steeple Hill
Trade Paperback

Two contemporary Christmas stories set in the South.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – by Lauraine Snelling. Blythe Stensrude isn’t celebrating any of the holidays in December this year. Not her birthday, and definitely not Christmas. She has taken on too much work and has no time for anything festive. Thane Davidson is frustrated when his sister ends up in jail and he is the custodian of his three-year-old niece. He knows nothing about children. Blythe and Thane meet when their dogs get tangled while walking in the park. They hit it off instantly and know they are meant for each other – except Blythe hates young children and Thane has to care for his niece. How can God work this out?

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas – by Lenora Worth. Elize Melancon’s grand-mere summons the family to the old family mansion for Christmas and Elize is convinced she’s dying. But when she arrives she finds out that Grand-mere wants her to reform a man so he can win back another woman. Theo Galliano is intrigued by the haughty socialite who’s suppose to educate him with his manners, and figures he can teach her a bit about real life. Can two very different individuals possible find love?

Once Upon a Christmas is a cute collection of two Christmassy romances. However, they were a bit lacking for me. I found Blythe way too whiney. She was hateful to her mother every time Mom called and then whined to her dog and Thane for the very things she refused from her mother. I also found the writing so dull and dry I couldn’t get into the story at all. It was a jarring read.

The second story is a bit better written, allowing me to be drawn into the story, but not being a Southern Socialite nor Cajun, I found it hard to relate to Elize and Theo. This story alone is worth buying the book. However, I did miss the snow and ice and cuddling in front of the fire . . .

Once Upon a Christmas has a wonderful cover and one of the stories is worth reading and might help get you into the holiday spirit.

Reviewed in November 2005 by Laura.